Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Civil Disobedience to Reform US Healthcare System

“The US needs single payer healthcare and nothing less,” said Healthcare-Now!’s Naomi Brussell who stood in front of 99 Park Avenue, the headquarters of Aetna, on September 29, 2009, as others strode the demonstration lines Earlier that day, 17 people from Act Up were arrested for staging a sit-in within the hallway in front of Aetna’s executive offices.

Such groups as Healthcare-Now!, Private Health Insurance Must Go, Disabled In Action, and NYC for Change participated in a national call for civil disobedience for the sake of making single-payer health insurance for all US residents a fact of life. These groups didn’t believe the proposed Private Insurance with Public Option went far enough wherein over 20 million Americans would remain uninsured. In fact, the Public Health Option died in the US Senate Finance Committee, September 29, 2009, the first day of civil disobedience. October 8 is Chicago’s day to stage a Patients Not Profit demonstration and other US cities will do so October 15.

The sit-ins and other demonstrations are staged at the headquarters of America’s largest insurance companies—United Health Group, Aetna, CIGNA and PacifiCare to name a few—because they are viewed as the wedge between the patient and the doctor. Healthcare-NOW!’s Brussell said that “20% of claims go to profits and administrative costs.” It is estimated that over 450,000 Americans die each year because they can’t get needed care. Other proponents of single-payer healthcare assert 30 cents of each health care premium dollar goes to insurance companies’ profits.

Around Naomi Brussell walked and rode people of various ages, genders and backgrounds. Giovanni Silva, 21, from the International Socialist Organization said he was there because “people should come before profits.” A contingency of wheelchair-bound individuals—some using oxygen respirators—representing Disabled in Action rode the demonstration line, holding protest signs. An unnamed black woman, 60, with NYC for Change revealed that she was “unwilling to be arrested as the 17 from Act Up had been but, believed the demonstration and rally were effective in getting the point across.” With at least 250 people covering the sidewalk either standing to hear Healthcare-Now stalwart Andy Velez address the crowd or walking the demonstration line, the event got noticed.

New York City’s demonstration, dubbed Medicare for All March and Rally, began at 51st Street and Park Avenue (Bristol Meyers executive office) and ended at 40th Street and Park Avenue (Aetna’s executive office) to bring to light the link between pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies.

Healthcare-NOW! and its affiliates have planned a National Strategy Conference for November 14 – 15, in St. Louis, MO. For more information about the conference and Single Payer Healthcare reform, visit, or .

Labels: , ,


At December 20, 2009 at 12:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home